What is PVA Glue? [Useful Information About This Versatile Adhesive]
Using a strong adhesive that will last for a long time is important for any carpenter or woodworker who’s selling their work. That’s the reason why PVA glue is the number one choice of these craftsmen. As an overview of what is PVA glue, PVA stands for polyvinyl acetate, and PVA glue is made by polymerizing the monomer vinyl acetate, a compound which was first discovered by Fritz Klatte in 1912 in Germany. This glue actually has the same properties as Elmer’s glue; however, Elmer’s is a PVA emulsion, and it’s the one commonly used for paper.
What is PVA Glue: The Facts
PVA glue comes in different types which are white-based and yellow-based. It can also be classified depending on its purpose of use. Apart from being one of the long-lasting glues in the market, PVA is preferred by many because of its unique characteristics.
On top of the list is that it is odorless and extremely flexible. It can also be held without the use of any hand protection because it is non-toxic. Thus, it can also be used by children. Likewise, PVA glue is also water soluble, so you can add water to a bottle if you want it less gloopy. However, you need to add a little at a time to ensure that you are not diluting it too much.
The great thing about PVA glue is that it is not just a bonding agent but can also be used in so many ways or applications. Hence, below, we have listed what is PVA glue commonly used for.
The type of PVA used for wood is called the carpenter’s glue or wood glue. This glue does not require a special tool to apply. It also dries clear, and as previously mentioned, it’s an adhesive that could last for years. Moreover, to ensure that your wood pieces are properly bonded, it is recommended to use a clamp and to work in an air-conditioned room because PVA dries faster when the temperature is lower.
PVA is also used in bookbinding because it holds the paper together very strongly. At the same time, it keeps the PH balance of the paper intact because PVA is not acidic. In fact, this glue binds paper so strong that experts had a difficult time disbinding the book, Archimedes Palimpsest, for the purposes of preservation and imaging.
PVA glue is also used by DIYers and contractors as wallpaper adhesive because it is strong and it dries clear. Using PVA also ensures that the wallpaper does not peel off; therefore, it is the perfect adhesive if you want your wallpaper to stick for a long time on your walls.
- Drywall Primer and Sealer
PVA is also used in drywall priming and sealing. As most of you know, this is a necessity to ensure that the surface is smooth before painting. Other reasons why you need to prime is to make sure that paint sticks well to prevent peeling and to hide any imperfections if the wall has been repaired.
PVA glue is essential for any crafter because it can be used to stick cards, papers, fabrics, and more. When mixed with water, PVA is also an excellent sealer for your paper mache projects.
The Different Types
As we have mentioned, different types of PVA glue could be used for the purposes mentioned above.
- Polyvinyl Acetate
PVA is the type of glue that is oftentimes used in crafting and bookbinding. This glue dries clear, is inexpensive, and durable. This glue is preferred in bookbinding because even if the paper used in the book turns yellow, this adhesive remains white.
- PVA-Wood Glue
This PVA glue is yellow-based, and it is otherwise known as aliphatic resin. As its name implies, it is the adhesive used to join pieces of wood together. To make sure that a strong bond is created, you need to ensure that the surfaces are clean before applying wood glue. It is also best to apply pressure or to clamp the wood pieces until the adhesive is set for a firmer bond.
- PVA-Water Resistant Glue
This glue is mold and mildew-resistant that is why this is often used outdoors. As such, this glue is able to withstand extreme weather conditions. The most popular brands under this category are Titebond II and III.
Even if using PVA glue is clearly beneficial, this adhesive also has some cons, and they are the following:
- PVA glue is not waterproof, except for the water-resistant type, so you can not submerge things applied with this in water.
- Although this is a good primer, you cannot apply varnish on PVA-primed surfaces.
- Bacteria, algae, fungi, and yeast can degrade PVA, except for the water-resistant variety.
- We have mentioned earlier that PVA sets better in lower temperatures, but freezing temperatures can break up the polymers. So, it is best to store PVA in proper temperature levels so that you can use and store it for a long time.
- Unlike other adhesives, the bond, when PVA is used is not instant because it will take 24 hours before you can achieve full strength.
PVA has been used by a lot of people for decades because it is an economical adhesive to use for everything porous. The use of this has disadvantages, but its advantages outweigh them. Moreover, as long as PVA is stored, used, and applied properly, it is a strong and a long-lasting adhesive. As mentioned, PVA is safe unless you drink it, that is why you still need to guide children when using this glue.
PVA can easily be cleaned with soap and water, so you do not have to worry about this glue sticking to your clothes or skin. This is also one of the products that can be found almost everywhere because it’s very versatile. Even though there is a specific PVA glue for a certain purpose, most brands can be used for everything. Meaning, your wood glue may be used for crafting, so always read labels to check for that because this can save you money. Hopefully if you were wondering “what is PVA glue” you now know the answer and can utilize this adhesive in your future projects!